Polyarylate fibers are high-performance multifilament yarns spun from liquid crystal polymers (LCP). The only commercially available melt-spun LCP is Vectran. It exhibits exceptional strength and rigidity (high tensile and impact strength). For example, the fiber is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum. It also has excellent creep and abrasion resistance, minimal moisture absorption, excellent chemical resistance, and very good property retention at both high and low temperatures.
Vectran's mechanical properties such as tensile strength and tensile modulus are comparable to those of Kevlar whereas its strength retention and creep under load is somewhat lower. Its low temperature performance, however, is noticeable better. Vectran actually increases in strength with decreasing temperatature whereas the tensile strength of Kevlar drops off below -20°C.1
COMMERCIAL Aramid Fibers
The fiber finds applications in the building, textile and coating industry. Major applications include cut-resistant gloves and clothing, sailcloth, fishing line, tow cables, inflatable structures, heavy-lifting lines, puncture-resistant bicycle tires and cordage.
The Vectran fiber has been chosen for NASA space systems due to its outstanding performance properties.
1 Kuraray Vectran brochure